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Life on Mars meets It's a Wonderful Life in this inventive romantic comedy that looks at what we can learn from the pastJournalist Rosie Hartford is having an odd day Or one hell of a hangoverHaving had a blazing row with her boyfriend fellow journalist Will she reluctantly sets off for her latest assignment an interview with one of the residents of The Meadows a grotty local estate about to become the set for a major reality TV show The 1950s HouseBut stepping through the front door Rosie finds herself in a different house and transported back in time Everything is grey and drab the food the clothes the TV It's like the world is in permanent black and whiteIt's not long before Rosie realises what's going on She's obviously a contestant on the 1950s show She's pretty miffed she's not been given warning but she might as well give it a go after all the cameras are always watching and the first rule of reality TV is always keep smilingBut what really sends Rosie into a spin is the fact that Will is there too but here he is known as Billy and has been married since he was 16 to Rosie's best friend In the 1950s WillBilly is a family man and devoted father a side to him that Rosie finds hard to imagine He grows vegetables repairs shoes and even has a shed He is in fact a grown upThe truth slowly dawns on Rosie that this is reality not reality TV After she gets over the shock she begins to embrace daily life 1950s style Gone are the excessive consumerism drifting relationships and cheap thrills of the Noughties In its place is make do and mend commitment duty and honourTogether Rosie and Billy make a great team covering dramatic local stories and inevitably growing closer until Rosie falls in love with WillBilly all over again But now he has a wife and kids and is out of boundsUnless she can get back to 2008

10 thoughts on “The Accidental Time Traveller

  1. says:

    I’m a big fan of time travel stories – currently in the middle of one of my own – and I love vintage fairs so a 1950s inspired story was always going to be a good bet for me Rosie a journalist on a local newspaper finds herself in the 1950s after a blazing row with her boyfriend Will Sent to interview a local woman on an estate for a 1950s house feature she blacks out and wakes up in the 1950s herself Is she mad in a coma or back in time? Well she thinks she is in the 1950s House reality show Not only that everyone else in the 1950s thinks she is American because of her attitude and ways of speaking I found the reality show references grating and was glad when Rosie realised she was really there and these stopped The story is a great way of showing the differences in life for housewives young women staff at the newspaper shopkeepers and simple domesticity then and now Rosie encounters backbreaking work casual sexism as if it is normal no hot water strange looks in the pub and a reconsideration of modern attitudes towards consumerism and community The strangest aspect was that people from Rosie’s life appeared in the 1950s but in different guises presumably as a device to allow her to see them in a different light and reconsider their place in her life and her viewpoint of them I did find the alternate timeline believable and the characters were immensely well drawn The ‘twist’ at the end was believable in one respect as what happened to Rosie also happened to my friend in a similar way but this doesn’t explain the responses of some of the characters who appear in the present and others who don’t So decide for yourself if she was mad in a coma or back in time when you’ve read it I know what my view is It was a fun read with a serious thread running through it easy to read and easy to like

  2. says:

    I don't often read chick lit but this one kind of sparkles in the same way that a good rom com film does Yes it's light and a little fluffy but it's funny and sweet and sometimes serious too I was surprised at how believable the whole thing was despite the time slip element of the plot it all slotted together very nicely The characters were likeable and familiar the situations were realistic and the developing relationships were wonderful to readIt's a lighthearted look at how a modern woman copes when plunged into a time when all mod cons are missing and she has to make do with what's available learning new skills and discovering that she's capable of far than she ever imaginedAs a bonus there's a which decade should you live in? uiz at the back incidentally it turns out I'd be right at home in the fifties

  3. says:

    Loved it Rosie was confused about what she wanted from her life and her relationship to Will As a news reporter she was sent to interview a lady who had lived in 'The Meadows' housing estate for 50 years As she knocked on the door a peculiar feeling overcame her and when coming to her senses she was in a house like the 50's and so unexpected At first she thought she had inadvertedly become involved in a reality TV shoe about life in the 1950's Eventually she had to accept that it was the 1950's and an alternate reality She was still a reporter but everything else was different Her best friend was married to Will and they had 3 children She found it very hard to live without the mod cons of the present day the strict social behaviour expectations and because of this she was perceived as a racy American S he comes to realise how much she loves Will and how she'd been pushing him away unable or too scared of taking the chance that he might hurt her The 1950's Will opened her eyes as to what could be and she wanted that chance When she finally wakes up in a modern hospital she discovers she has had meningitis and could have died without the uick response of the old lady whom she was visiting Will had been by her side all that time but she wonders what really happened and her uestions are put down to being a dream she had while she was ill When she recovers they go back to thank Margaret Turnbull for saving her life and a truth is revealed

  4. says:

    I have always been a fan of time travelling stories from Charlotte Sometimes when I was a child to the Outlander series as an adult This caught my eye and I enjoyed it Rosie somehow ends up in the 1950s and there are many things she comes across which contrast with today The scratchy clothes the dull food the lack of modern conveniences like running hot water washing up liuid indoor toilets is brought home in this charming story Conventions were different men could be and were horribly sexist homosexuality was illegal and not discussed and pregnancy outside of marriage frowned on There were some good sides a sense of community a less materialistic society these are all reflected in the book This is just the backdrop to the story though The main storyline is the romance between Rosie and Will in the present and Billy when she goes back in time Billy seems to be Will he looks and talks like him but he is firmly in the 1950s and married to Rosie’s best friend This makes an interesting dynamic as usually time travellers meet different people in the past to their present Although there is a bit of a twist at the end this is never fully explained I think the book could have been better written to give it depth but there was definitely enough there to keep me interested and it was a very easy read

  5. says:

    Great book with an imaginative time travel theme that was fun to read Going back into the 1950's catches the reader alongside our heroine in reliving vivid descriptions of life without technology electricity in some cases sexism in the workplace and daily life with attitudes that were downright nasty and patronising to women So many rules including fashion restrictions nearly drove our Rosie mad But mostly it was her relationships that followed her into this parallel universe that were the most challenging as she gained immeasurable insight inner growth and wisdom to effectively live her truest life Thoroughly enjoyable Highly recommended

  6. says:

    It's not exactly great literature but I enjoyed reading it

  7. says:

    I so wanted to like this and the first two pages are intriguing I warm to the protagonist straight away I'm sure she's about to travel back in time when she arrives at the 1950s housing estate I'm all geared up for it and then Backstory Ok fine I hope the backstory won't last long But it does and it introduces what seems like loads of similar characters and I can't tell one from the other and I just don't care and I stopped reading I'm sure lots of readers don't mind being introduced to lots of characters at once but I don't I'm afraid It's why I avoid police procedurals which also tend to introduce twenty characters in chapter one It might be because I'm an introvert? I'm sure the book is good but it's just not for me I'm sorry

  8. says:

    Rosie is a reporter for the local paper she's been in a relationship with Will for a while but feels he may never be ready to take their relationship further she fears he's a manchildSent to interview one of the first residents of the local estate which is celebrating its 50th anniversary Rosie comes over all peculiar and wakes up in the 1950sAt first Rosie thinks she is being set up as a contestant on a TV programme called The 1950s House and gamely plays along until she realises the set is too large and too realistic Strangely many of her Noughties friends are in the 1950s but with very different lives Will is now Billy and has been married to Rosie's best friend Caz Carol for 11 years and they have three childrenRosie sees that maybe Will could be responsible and a father she learns how much she takes for granted in the Noughties mascara and washing up liuid included She also sees how hard life was and how badly women were treated and how few options they hadThis was a good book in the end it was a bit Freaky Friday whereas I was hoping for something a bit but nevertheless an interesting read

  9. says:

    This had the potential to be a decent time travel book Rosie our heroine is suddenly transported back to the 1950's It takes place in England England was slow to modernize and was behind the US in modern conveniences and style Rosie's immediate thought is that she is somehow part of a reality tv show taking place in the 1950's style stage set Even though she sees the impossibility of turning an entire city retro and she is a news reporter she doesn't really investigate She just continues to be confused and Oh wellUnfortunately the author was not very imaginative and the plot was not clever There were too many loose ends and it was less about the heroine and about the lives of people who came before her A confusing plot ingredient is that she meets her boyfriend's alter ego who is married to her best friend and yet they weren't even born yet in the 50's It made no senseShe never looks up her parents or relatives At the end of the story the author threw in an inadeuate improbable explanation for Rosie's apparent time travel or dream This might have made a decent half hour Outer Limits tv show but even then it would have been meh

  10. says:

    Not bad but not brilliant I like the concept surrounding how Rosie ended up in the 1950s but the extended oh this must be reality TV bit was simply irritating and I never really warmed to Rosie as a character which isn't great when you're reading a book written in first person POV Some of the highlighting of the differences between views then and now was done well but the book could have done with a better proof reader and all in all ended up being just not my thing at all For anyone who knows my love of time fantasy they'll know how much it means that I say that of a book with time travel of a sort as its central themeI'm not sure I'll ever bother reading this again and in light of that I'm glad I didn't get it in paper It could have been so much than it is but thanks to a POV character who is uite difficult to like doesn't pull that off Pity